Two days ago I was accompanied by my father to Sta. Cruz, Manila to get my NBI clearance at Sta. Cruz NBI center. I can\’t remember the name of the building but it\’s beside Isetan. After an hour, we left the building with my NBI clearance and we strolled along Avenida. My father is a \”Manila boy\” as he spent most of his younger years in Manila when he was taking his degree in engineering, so he toured me from Quaipo to Carreido since I\’m too peculiar in that area. I missed the good old times when we go to Quaipo just to buy electronics parts at Raon and go shopping for bargains at the nearby stores. That was about 10 years ago when our local area has not been developed yet.
We reached Recto MRT Line 2 (Megatren). My father doesn\’t want to ride the train but I forced him anyway. Then we alighted from the train at Gilmore station. My next agenda was to buy an LCD monitor. My father was relunctant to buy, but I was able to pursue my interest. In order to save my eyes from degradation, I really have to buy an LCD monitor to replace my busted CRT monitor.
I immediately went to PC Express Plus. You can say I\’m already a patron buyer (suki) because I bought my 160 GB Seagate HD, Linksys router and Radeon 9550 videocard at PC Express.
Right after searching the list of LCD monitors available, I was in a dilemma if I would buy a 17\” or a 19\” LCD monitor, and which brand. I did a prior research but it didn\’t help. Typical 17\” costs around P13,500 today while a typical 19\” cost around P20,000. There is a P6,500 difference and it seems to be not cost effective. Again and again, my father insisted that I buy the 17\” LCD monitor only because it won\’t fit my PC table at home. I argued that I could adjust the height of the racks, but it\’s too troublesome. If I adjust the rack where my printer is located, it would be difficult to reach my printer and it would be very inconvenient to change ink, let alone open the printer cover. Therefore, I just decided to buy 17\” LCD monitor in the end. I used to have a 17\” CRT and it just right for all my needs after all.
My criteria for buying LCD follows the recommendation of CNET monitor buying guide. First I looked at the pixel response rate. I need 8 ms or less because I don\’t want ghosting in my games and movies, although 12 – 16 ms will be good enough. I want a native resolution of 1280 x 1024 in 17\”. In 19\” LCDs I expect to get a higher resolution, but all 19\” LCDs in Gilmore that I have reviewed feature native resolution of 1280 x 1024 only. If those 19\” LCDs had native resolution of 1600 x 1280, I would have chosen 19\”. I also looked for decent luminance and contrast ratio. Surprisingly only one passed the 8 ms criterion — ViewSonic VA712. I thought Samsung 740N is better since it is priced slightly higher than ViewSonic but I was wrong. Although it has a very good contrast ratio of 1500:1 compared to VA712\’s 350:1 (typical to most LCDs), Samsung 740N has a 25 ms pixel response rate, so I ditched it off my list. Obviously I chose ViewSonic VA712 because it is clearly the best available LCD monitor currently available. In addition, it has a good picture quality, no dead pixels, and comes with 3 years warranty. It does not have DVI connection though. I don\’t really need it because VA712 has an automatic timing correction of analog signal. ViewSonic produces high performance LCDs and I believe in its quality. CNET also reported that most monitors do such a good job of signal conversion that digital connections are not as important as they used to be.
I\’m using it right now and I\’m very pleased with its performance.